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Could the EM-5 save Olympus?


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Posted on 31 May 2012 09:52:38 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Someone will buy them out if they do. Olympus is too valuable and well-known a name for no-one to be interested. Who knows, it may even be the making of them? Just imagine what they could do if they had a competent management behind their brilliant engineers...

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 09:55:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 09:57:01 BDT
X says:
Ross: I found more obvious scaremongering than real threat of peril. It is a sensational fall from grace for the executives involved, and it's not difficult to work out where that puts those execs in the Japanese business ethos: the lowest of the low. What I hear from my long-standing favourite Olympus dealer is that the business will most definitely survive. Most of the reliable photo-specialist financial analysts agree with that. Of course, with the company having lost most of its value the door is wide open for a buy-out. That would be an interesting outcome.

I have this regrettable streak of cynicism which tells me that the OM-D is primarily a brand building exercise for Olympus, making the company more attractive to investors in today's Olympus or buyers of the whole company to form a new Olympus. Is it possible to re-coup all the investment made to develop and launch the OM-D? I would be surprised if it were. There must be a stage two of the OM-D project, with less complete models hitting a lower price-point. That would really tempt investors.

Finally in the UK the responsibility for supplying goods fit for purpose lies with the person/company who/which sold the goods. I bought my OM-D from a financially sound dealership; problems seem highly unlikely, but should they arise the dealership has to deal with them.

So, (A), reports of Olympus about to disintegrate are scaremongering, (B) who cares when the responsibility for the goods lies on the dealer's desk, (C) don't buy expensive and complex goods from web-sellers based outside the European Community with no manufacture's warranty and no cover from British consumer legislation... Lens caps? OK. Cutting edge lenses? Not OK.

Posted on 31 May 2012 09:58:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 09:59:53 BDT
Lucius says:
Apparently Fuji and Sony have approached them for a "Strategic Alliance", which sounds like double-speak for buy-out to me!

I'm hoping it will be Fuji - imagine an X-Pro 1 with the AF system from an OM-D - wow, that'd be a camera I'd really want to buy!! With more seriousness, I think Fuji would be the better option, they are more focused on the camera/imaging side of things and I think would develop it more, where I feel Sony will just gobble them up as an electronics parts bin.

On second thoughts, I actually hope they make it themselves. Otherwise all we're left with on the M43 front is Panasonic, and they just want to make plastic boxes - at least Olympus has some soul.

Posted on 31 May 2012 09:59:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 10:02:05 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
If it has to be either/or I'd vote for Fuji too. For the same reason as Lucius. Spot on sir.

I must admit that the X-Pro 1 is the first digital camera I've seen in years that I'd actually quite like to own. But then I look at the price and think "Hmm. I could have a Mamiya 6 or 7 with all three lenses for that sort of money".

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 10:56:07 BDT
I see that Oly has done a deal with Woodford.
Again according to AP, Olympus's Tokyo HQ has hit out at Japanese press reports that the company is on the verge of striking a strategic alliance with Sony or Panasonic, and set to slash 2,500 jobs worldwide.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 17:59:00 BDT
Sorry X, didnt mean to upset you... being an Oly Officianardo and all that ;-)

Taking your last paragraph first (A) are they really? (B) depends if the dealers can get parts, otherwise the cameras end up in the bin and get refunded which leaves a problem if you have lenses but no camera (C) always contentious, back in the day a lens would last you 20 years, I suppose the modern stuff has a three year life?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 18:06:56 BDT
Hi Ross,
You could stick your 4/3 lenses on a Pana couldn't you?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 18:12:00 BDT
Hi Dr G., can you? I don't know, not my area of expertise - thanks - if it had been me in that situation, they'd have ended up on the used market :-(

Been a bit fixated on dust lately - my sensor has resisted the urge to get dirty again, it's been two weeks and counting :-)

Ross.

Posted on 31 May 2012 20:39:58 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Only 20 years out of a lens? Eek! My oldest one is 43 and still going strong. But yes, how long do modern ones last? I would hazard a guess that the first things to fail will be the internal focus motors and the VR/IS systems. There is a good case to be made for buying Leica really isn't there? Any body fits any lens, and on those lenses there are no electronics or plastic. Just glass and metal.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 20:54:45 BDT
Hi Graham,
Small correction: just glass and metal and a mortgage.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2012 17:39:24 BDT
Taleris says:
I am an Olympus nut too, I'm afraid. My first camera was an OM 1, and still works beautifully after more than 30 yrs of services. I now have a E510 which I find does the job just fine, had it for quite a few years now and always travel with it or with its little brother a Olympus Pen E-P1. Not a word of complaint from me. Good lenses and good quality cameras.

Posted on 9 Jun 2012 21:27:36 BDT
ChrisJ says:
Exactly as he said!
I started with an OM-1, still going strong.
Now have an E-510. Great camera.
Also have an early Tough and an ultrazoom. Never a complaint from me, they all take better pictures than I think they should be able to.

Posted on 14 Jun 2012 01:15:47 BDT
I know a bloke who has bought an OM-D with a 9-18lens. I was most impressed - especially the EVF. A very cool piece of kit - but cost £1,500.

Posted on 14 Jun 2012 12:23:50 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, everyone. Just alighted on this forum and see a number of regulars posting. I'd like to take the opportunity to "roll up" on a number of posts. Autofocus Ross, you're on my Christmas card list for your reference to those "classy" Rover 75's. As a Rover driver, my last four cars have been Rovers, and my last two have been 75's, and my current one is one of the very last to be built. It was registered 28th August, 2008. Over the years I've put up with snide comments about the marque from people who've never owned one, but look around and see how many are still on the road. Any good? of course they were, and this is despite comments from the likes of Jeremy Clarkson!

GEH, as a Leica film camera user, may I slightly qualify the lens compatibility issue. I will assume you meant all Leica r/f lenses fit all r/f bodies, and that all Leica R (reflex) lenses fit all slrs.

For obvious reasons, r/f lenses can not be used on R bodies because of the much shorter back focus of r/f lenses, if infinity focus is to be maintained. An adaptor was once available to mount r/f lenses to an R body, but this could only be used in extreme close-up and for which the normal range of lenses were entirely unsuited

Conversely, R lenses can be used on a r/f body using an appropriate adaptor, but with no r/f coupling, but only providing the lens can be manually stopped down.

Compatibility is better as between R lenses and R bodies, but even here it is not 100% as lenses came in 1 cam, 2 cam and 3 cam versions, with the only truly compatible lenses over the range of R bodies being the 3 cam versions.

With the r/f system, some compatibility issues can be found with the M6, for example, as some lenses protrude too deeply into the body and obstruct the metering system cell in the base of the body and which reads off a white circle on the shutter blind. This doesn't mean they couldn't be used, but simply with no metering function. The same is true of the M5, which used a swinging arm with the metering cell on its end. When taking a reading this swung into place behind the lens, so this limited even which lenses could be used on it, usually w/a designs.

But with specific exceptions, system lenses over the life of Leica production remain remarkably compatible.

X, you requested a Sony many stand up and be counted. Well, I'm your man, despite not owning many models. My first was the somewhat revolutionary R1, an APS-C bridge camera c. 2005, with an incredible Zeiss manual zoom lens. I still own this and despite its limited pixel count, 10 meg, weight over 2lbs, and rather poor by current standards, high ISO performance, it delivers exceptional images. No video, no image stabilisation, fixed lens but covering what I need, 24mm to 120mm, no GPS etc etc. In other words, simply a camera.

I bought a Nex 5 when the system was launched in 2010 but the quality of the standard kit lenses left something to be desired. I then bought the much improved 5N and I was surprised at how much better this performed even with the standard kit lenses. But using cheap adaptors available for the Nex cameras I was able to try out some old film camera lenses, including Leica glass. The Leica lenses, perhaps not unexpectedly, work extremely well, as does my Oly f1.8/50mm. To get a 50mm equivalent FoV, I recently acquired the surprisingly inexpensive Sigma f2.8/30mm. I say surprisingly inexpensive as it is an incredible performer and at f4 has virtually equalled the peformance of a current Leica lens on an Imatest carried out by LensRentals in the USA. How long will it last? Well, it is plastic and the focusing mechanism rattles when not on the camera and powered up! So perhaps not many years.

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 09:39:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 10:08:33 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Wish I'd had one of these last night. I was at an outdoor event in London where it was so packed I could barely raise my beer to my mouth, let alone my D90 to my eye. That, combined with having to carry the bugger there and back across baking hot and muggy Belgravia streets really made me see the appeal of an OM-D.

I hadn't used my D90 so far this year until last night, preferring as I do the OM-2n for most things. A digital OM-2 would be a very useful thing. I can't justify the price of an OM-D but I'll be keeping a close eye on prices of the Fuji X-100 over the coming months I think. The lens on that is just about perfect for what I'd be wanting to do with it.
I think right now if someone offered to swap my D90 for an OM-D I'd go for it. The only thing I'd lose out on would be motorsports, but I do so little of that that I could live without it. Or I could just use my excellent 35mm Nikon F100 or F90X instead. Either of which is considerably lighter than the D90 (Or it feels that way anyhow).

I think as a good compromise that perhaps I should look at a Fuji X10. It's only a point'n'squirt, granted, but it has a great design, a decent lens, a proper "twisty" zoom control and is a reasonable price. KR rates it highly as a travel and street camera. Hmm...

Fujifilm X10 Digital Camera - Black (12MP EXR CMOS, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.8 inch LCD Screen

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 12:03:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 12:09:46 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
And.... This is why I don't shop in the high street:

I've been investigating the X10. Jessops do it at £349 with interest-free finance over a year. Bargain.

Call up Jessops 1: No stock.

Call up Jessops 2: No stock.

Call up Jessops 3:

"Yes, we've got one"
Great.
"But it's got a cracked screen" (silence)
Oh, okay. So, you... don't have one in then?
"If you want a new one we'll have to order it in" (In peed-off exasperated manner followed by more silence)

You know, if it's that much of a hardship for you, then don't bother doing me any favours. I'll do what I always do and have one off good old Amazon.

What is wrong with these people?? Retail is f***ed. Everyone knows it's just a matter of time before high street stores like this are gone for good. Then they'll be out of a job. And they'll only have themselves to blame.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 12:10:03 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
GEH,

Last year, a camera I was interested in, Jessops did have in stock. But I wanted to handle it before deciding. Then I found it was available as an internet purchase only, not available in their local branch!

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 12:13:41 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Yeah, it's a familiar tale T.J.

I'm going to head off to the shops and look at one in Curry's. Then if it's what I need I'll order it off Amazon. I don't like doing that, so I'll offer them the chance to price-match Jessops first as a courtesy. We'll see what happens.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 19:08:00 BDT
Hi Graham,
I like the look of that X10 too. But have they fixed the white orbs problem?

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 19:50:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 22:56:11 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Apparently yes, by modding the sensor. Trouble is, there's no way to tell whether yours is a modded one or not because there was no record of the serial number where the mod was incorporated!

My technique (if I go ahead) will be to buy one from somewhere that shifts bucketloads of them. That way there's a good chance it'll be a new type.
To be completely frank though, I wouldn't be too concerned. The Internet is full of scare stories like this and 9 times out of 10 they're just a few rogue ones that have slipped into reviewers hands and wound up being blown up out of all proportion and plastered all over the internet.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 22:12:12 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Well, it's done now.

Fujifilm X10 ordered. Jessop's online, £349 with 10 months interest-free credit. Not a bad deal at all. Free delivery too. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 23:14:18 BDT
Hi Graham,
You will let us know all about it I trust? In particular I'd be interested in how good the viewfinder is.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 23:30:09 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
I shall indeed Dr G! Although they reckon on 10 days until delivery because it's out of stock. Still, it'll soon go. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 06:23:38 BDT
Lucius says:
GE - You're right, and the problem is only apparent in certain types of shots anyway.

I spoke to my local camera shop about the X10 problem, apparently some do it worse than others - they had a customer who bought three, one that didn't have the problem, one that was average and a third that was terrible!

Even if you get one that has the "orb" problem, if you send it back to Fuji then they will replace the sensor for you - so even if you do get one of the older batch, it's not going to be an issue now they have sorted it out.

Fuji service is also one of the best around, you won't be waiting weeks to get your camera back like you do with the big names.

Posted on 2 Jul 2012 09:05:09 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
GEH,

By all accounts, and barring the potential issue of the orbs, this seems to be a very fine camera producing excellent images. A nice zoom range from the equivalent of 28-112mm and losing only one stop from f2 to f2.8 in the process. A thing I like is manual zoom, and this has it, albeit fire wire, but this must be better than the usual little switches which only seem to give "staged" zoom positions. I'd be interested in you view of it.
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Participants:  11
Total posts:  51
Initial post:  12 Feb 2012
Latest post:  19 Sep 2012

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